Oklahoma City, OK (Redbirds) – The Memphis Redbirds grabbed an early lead that they would never relinquish in a 4-3 triumph over the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Sunday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Picking up from its ninth-inning rally on Saturday night, the Redbirds (10-8) came out of the gates quick, scoring twice in the first three batters of the game. Breyvic Valera led the game off with a single and promptly scored on a Todd Cunningham triple, Memphis’ first three-base hit of the season. Cunningham then came in on an RBI groundout from Tommy Pham to give the Redbirds a 2-0 advantage.
After Oklahoma City (8-9) sliced the deficit in half with a tally in the third, Memphis extended the lead back out in the fifth. Again, it was the top of the order coming through as Valera singled and Cunningham walked to set up Luke Voit, who drilled a two-run triple to right field and pushed the lead to 4-1.
Voit finished with three hits in the contest, driving in his 11th and 12th runs of the season in the process. Valera accrued a three-hit game in his own right, scoring a pair of tallies.
Oklahoma City got a run back in the home half of the fifth and added an unearned tally in the seventh to cut the Redbirds’ lead to 4-3. Sam Tuivailala came on in the eighth inning and fired a near-perfect two frames for his first save of the season. Tuivailala struck out four in relief and worked around a two-out walk in the ninth to nail down the win.
Arturo Reyes made his first start of the season for Memphis after serving in a piggyback role in his first three appearances. The righthander did not factor in the decision after lasting four innings, allowing a run on four hits with four walks and a strikeout. Zach Phillips was credited with his first win of the season in relief, yielding an unearned run on two hits in two innings.
The Redbirds now look for the series victory and a third straight win on Monday at Oklahoma City with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT, before returning to Memphis for a five-game series with the Round Rock Express (Rangers) April 27-May 1. The upcoming homestand includes All-You-Can-Eat Thursday, featuring wings, on the 27th, Silky O'Sullivan's Irish Heritage Night on the 28th, 90s Night featuring Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell and postgame fireworks on the 29th, and Bark In The Ballpark, with Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday and kids run the bases, on the 30th.